|Blue Orchid helps budding entrepreneurs in Wigan
Blue Orchid has helped a total of 364 unemployed people in Wigan to come off benefits and become their own boss with the help of the Government's New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme, launched in 2011.
Business ideas supported by Blue Orchid include caterers, creative designers, landscape gardeners and mechanics. Blue Orchid's business advisors provide tailored help and support to individuals wanting to turn their business ideas into reality.
When faced with redundancy, Michael Lawrenson decided to use the skill and expertise he had built up in the security field to launch a new company which provides a key holding and alarm response service to businesses in Wigan. Michael, working with business partner, Gregory McGeachin, launched Keysec 24 Ltd with the help of Blue Orchid.
Michael approached Blue Orchid for advice and guidance on the basics of starting a new company and his business ;advisor was able to provide essential information on HMRC registration, legal practicalities as well as business planning and marketing.
Commenting on the support received, Michael said: "We are very grateful to Blue Orchid for all the help they gave us and would recommend anyone who is thinking of starting a business to make use of their exceptional services."
The New Enterprise Allowance offers expert mentoring and financial support to people on Jobseeker's Allowance, lone parents and people on sickness benefits who want to start up their own business, which Minister for Employment Esther McVey has heralded as creating a new enterprise generation.
Blue Orchid's Heather Hayes, Chief Executive of Blue Orchid said: "Month by month we are seeing over 250 people taking the opportunity to create a job for themselves. Working in more than 54 local Job Centre Plus offices across the North West, Blue Orchid provides unemployed people with a business mentor to help them realise their ambitions.
"The New Enterprise Allowance has been so successful, next year we expect a further 2,000 unemployed people across Greater Manchester to access finance and advice to get their business idea of the ground.
"The NEA scheme is just one of a number of ways in which business support provider Blue Orchid, helps individuals wanting to start their own company."